O is for…or is it N?….

That shrub/bush/plant I was talking about cutting back on Monday is called

Oleander aka nerium Oleander

Nerium oleander is a woody perennial, shrub that can be trained into a small tree in the early stages of growth. The trunk is smooth, grey in colour while the branches are semi-rubbery and pliable.
Five-petal flowers of the straight species bloom in shades of white, yellow, pink and red source

It’s a plant that is grown all over the world
There is even an International Society dedicated to all things Oleander

A page on their site covers the (known) history of the plant
a little on the long side but it makes really interesting reading

If you live anywhere near Galveston Texas – April is Oleander month there
the International Society is organising their Oleander and Garden Festival
on Saturday 29th April 2023. Hopefully the weather will be kind for them.
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The Oleander is one of the easiest plants to grow in Melbourne
In fact it seems to grow well all over Australia
It’s one of those pop in the ground and forget things
There are several of them growing along that paling fence
down the side of the driveway.
The pink flowers make a great contrast with the blue Agapanthus
when they flower simultaneously
These ones grow tall and bushy – but there are dwarf varieties as well

They are easy to keep in check
Growing too far in one direction – just give it a short back and sides
I even chopped them almost to ground level once
so we could have some work done nearby
Within a short while they had shot up and were lovely and bushy again 

The sap plus most of the plant reputed to be poisonous 

Don’t test the theory

Use gloves or wash your hands to be on the safe side



Tuesday was…..

A reminder that whether we like it or not Summer has finally been and gone
After a glorious warm and sunny Easter weekend it was all change

Yesterday – Tuesday – was wet….it rained…that strange rain that just hangs there and makes everything wet. Skies were grey and misty – cool, chilly but not really cold. We shouldn’t grizzle about the drizzle or is it mizzle….it hasn’t rained for a while, the ground is dry- very dry and thirsty. With a bit of luck it will encourage some green to wander over to the bare patch discovered when I cut back the gazania that had decided to ’make a move to freedom’ or maybe had decided it wanted long dangly curls instead of the short back and sides it was given before Christmas

Yesterday was when I glanced round a soggy garden remembering how inviting the little shady nook under those low branches had looked during the summer.

When it got hot on the deck I’d nip down there, book in hand, carrying cushions for the chairs and a cloth for the table. Food and drinks followed soon after.
Yesterday in the rain that white plastic table and chairs set looked old, tired and grotty

Next summer we’ll invest in new but what to do with the old?

After spending time moving from one craft blog to another researching I discovered that rather than just toss the chairs I could always do THIS…..👇

Knit decorative chair covers!

That would certainly use up a lot of my stash wouldn’t it😊😊

And if you’re really keen and the idea appeals there’s a pattern HERE.

It’s not a new idea, in fact if you look long and hard you’ll find there’s a whole world of them out there!


Think then Speak….

When your ’favourite’ gardening gloves start to look a bit worse for wear – and you know the next trip through the washing machine will probably be their last – it’s time to take action and make your way down to the nearest big green shed.

That’s where you will find anything and everything indoor/outdoor you thought you needed and much much more that once you see it you’ll think you needed it and wonder how you could ever have lived without it……. No need to ask me how I know that 😊

One of the reasons I’ve made do with countless numbers of tatty looking garden gloves (those above and more) is mainly because of ’you know what’….we’ve been so limited in where and when we could go over the past couple of years Bunnings hasn’t been top of the list of places I felt I needed to go – mind you Spotlight (for wool/yarn) which is right across the road might have been, but we won’t mention that 😊

So last week down the road we go, The Golfer came along on the premise he wanted to look at a ceiling fan….although I think he just wanted to chat with other retired oldies looking at tools and things they ’might’ need.

The ’shortage situation’ was evident there as well – I came home with some gloves, not the brand I was after, (sitting on the docks I was told) these are more suited for working rather than digging in the dirt…..but as The Golfer pointed out ”they’ll be great if you want to use your phone or iPad without taking them off” The black tips on some fingers allow that adhesion you need on touchscreens.
New clippers plus other things made their way back to the car and that’s when, along with one of this year’s encouraging phrases ’think then speak’ , this little meme flashed into my mind.

When we parked the car there were empty spots all around and I really didn’t look at what direction we were facing, was just pleased it was close to the entrance so it wouldn’t be far to walk loaded down with whatever took our fancy.

Scorching hot day – car is parked facing direct sun – even as old as she is Catherine is still fiery at times and was about to mutter something along the lines of ’why didn’t you park the other way” when she remembered someone else was hot and bothered as well…….and would likely return fire with ”well you can walk home if you want to!”

So as I wasn’t up for an all in slanging match in the car park ( or the imaginary 6km walk along Canterbury and Liverpool Road) I didn’t say a word….just cursed silently in my head, turned the car air con up full bore, then joked about the icy poles in the freezer being just what we needed when we got home.

It’s Monday again -gosh that week went by quickly didn’t it? – the month as well!
I’m pleased the covid numbers appear to be plateauing or even going down but am still cautious and wary of large crowds…small ones as well!

In the mean time I’ll just potter around the garden using my ’not as clean as they could be but much cleaner than they were’ tatty gloves until the docks are cleared of the backlog of all those things we didn’t know we needed until we saw them 😊

How about you – have you held your tongue over anything this week?

Linking to Life this Week. 
Why don’t you pop over and see who’s visiting Denyse today


Carte Blanche or do as I please….

”Complete freedom to do whatever” source

The day I talked about the blue agapanthus EC mentioned white ones – which reminded me there was a clump of white ones growing near the garage, right next to the dark pink double Oleander, which is near where I park my car.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the ’heavy’ days we’ve been having but this year the contrast in the colours has been quite striking. The composition of the flower heads is exactly the same yet there’s always something special about the white that definitely isn’t there in the blue

12 January 2022

Fast forward a couple of weeks and this is how they looked. Very tired and weary and bedraggled. The heat had certainly got to them. It was time to give them a haircut.

OK, so I was keeping that thought somewhere in my mind for an opportune moment, trying to remember if the green bin had enough room for more clippings (those seed heads are enormous) and looking round the deck wondering where all the stuff on the benches came from, when I thought I saw the blue handles of the clippers ….(that would be secateurs for posh people 😊) in one of the tubs over there.

The sun was shining….there was just a hint of a breeze….it’s a five minute job….’cept I was planning on doing something else. So I made an executive decision- I gave myself carte blanche to do as I wanted – which (as anyone who knows me) turned out to be an hours sit down with a cold drink and a new rather thick (600 pages) library book!


A fun ’did you know’ for you….

Because (in my mind) the year ’proper’ hasn’t begun yet

There’s Tennis on the telly – Australia Day is yet to come – the kids haven’t gone back to school yet…..some of us continue to eat and drink like it’s going out of style 😊

Here’s some fun bits of interest for you

  • We’re still in the first month of 2022 so here’s a little something to figure out….

If you take the last 2 digits of the year you were born…then add them to the age you will be this year…

It will equal ….122

  • Australia is wider than the moon. The moon sits at 3400km in diameter,  while  Australia’s diameter from east to west is almost 4000km. source 1source 2
  • Australia has more than 60 wine growing regions The majority of which are in Victoria and New South Wales source
  • Lemons float but Limes sink. Safe link below 👇 if you’re interested in why.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks, laying low, staying close to home, enjoying the summer weather, watching the beginning of the Australian Open and the ending of The Ashes. Lots of hopes and expectations dashed in both – but then that’s sport for you…….nothing is ever ‘a sure thing’ where that’s concerned.

Never one to just sit ‘watching tv’ I surprised myself by finishing two green adult beanies and reading two books on my ’to be read’ A-Z list of authors.

Both set in post war periods (WW1 & WW2) with main characters who have ’served’ – both storylines involve murders – both with secondary storylines dealing with the result of war service. I’d’met Elly Griffiths’ Brighton Mysteries characters before but this was my first time reading about Inspector Ian Routledge and I’ll certainly be on the look out for more of this series.

And here’s something else I’m looking forward to seeing again….next summer.
But first…..Development of the level crossing in Mooroolbark meant I I have been using the library in Montrose – and seeing their landscaping with new eyes. I’d been used to just driving by on my way elsewhere, now I walk by on my way to the front entrance

Just look at this magnificent small flowering gum…..not too tall with the most stunning orangey red flowers. Corymbia Ficifolia (Baby Orange)

* Flowering gums are grafted eucalyptus trees. By grafting plants onto specially selected rootstock you get trees that will grow happily in a wide range of soil types and have greater resistance against disease. It also means no surprises when it comes to flower colour and smaller sized trees*
source:- https://www.flowerpower.com.au/garden-advice/gardening/flowering-gum-trees/

All through the summer season you can see long flower buds forming, then bursting open into these huge clumps of bright blossoms that slowly fade in colour before dropping off and leaving the little nut casing – all this going on simultaneously in different parts of the tree.

Those little nut shells left after the petals drop grow into these enormous ’gum nuts’.
A bit like me in that as I shed my youthful me and grew older, the more gnarled and bigger in the beam I became 😊

Linking to Life this Week. 

Pop over and see who’s visiting Denyse today – it’s always worth a visit.


A Blue Blue Day…

Things might be getting a bit hot and frizzled out there

Things are getting past their prime – the ‘look at me’ factor is not working anymore

People just pass by oblivious to the beauty that once was

But have no fear – the blues are back in town

Sometimes Faded, Never Jaded,

With the occasional leaf burnt to a crisp

Love ’em or Loathe em – you definitely can’t miss ’em

They are the sign of Summer in Melbourne

They are of course the Big Blue Blooms of Agapanthus


There are little things

This past couple of weeks have been full of little things that brought a smile to my face.

Like seeing the GP and having him tell me ’ maybe next script renewal (3 months time) we can combine two of these medications’. Seemingly the new combined pill works just as well as taking the two singly.

Like visiting the chiropractor and feeling supple and pain free…..which doesn’t always happen. Life is so much easier when it does.

Like leaving the podiatrist after having my feet pampered……knowing my nails had been cut without me having to twist and turn like a contortionist….something I am definitely finding harder to do.

Like seeing the smile on my brother’s face as he told me he had a new grandson, seeing the smile on The Golfer’s face as he told me the cafe at the golf club had reopened for table service, then being able to drive out there to have coffee in a proper cup 😊

Like reading an email from the pool revising their opening hours and usage. Come Monday I can return to doing what I enjoy…..things my body sometimes find impossible difficult on land yet I am able to do quite easily in the water…..like walking for instance. 😊

Like knowing the library will reopen on Monday, seeing the 8am school bus go by, getting an appointment with my hairdresser and making a note on the calendar as a reminder that face to face ’book club’ is startIng again next week. 😊😊

Like noticing the effect a week of pleasant sunny dryish days had on the roses. A bush overloaded with buds turned into a mass of delicious looking blooms.

Like gathering up remnants of a winter spent elsewhere. Reminders of places visited where little complimentary essentials were supplied – definitely not a new happening (motels have done this for years) these (and more) happened to find their way into my bag.
Tiny soaps and single tea and coffee serves to pass on to a ’ hard up friend’ who welcomes anything that will help stretch her pension a little bit further.

But my biggest smile came from seeing the bread bag ’tie’ was made from cardboard and not plastic.
Not a new innovation here – I just happened to photograph this one 😊

Linking to Life this Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. 
Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week

Taking it easy..or not

Who knew it would be so difficult easing back into a previous way of life. I’ve pottered around doing basically nothing these past few days. I know this aimless feeling will pass soon, after all Summer is a comin’ in (well it’ll be here sometime) and there’s a fair bit of (unwanted/unneeded) green stuff to be removed from underneath some of the plants. That’s a different way of saying….. I’ve got some weeding to do!

One out of focus rose bloom, blowing in the wind…

It’s strange the things that pop into your head at times. I know my mind wanders about a bit now and again but standing there looking at this rose I could feel a connection to a couple of very different songs

A very old Irish tune The Rose of Tralee…one of my grandmas was born there and one of her names was Mary – sadly none of us knew her, she died when my mother was 7

The other was The Rose – which was a favourite piece of one my choirs (now sadly still in recess) – a great song for a large choir, harmony pieces at their best. This is a very different version by country singer Conway Twitty (1933 – 1993)

So if the weatherman has ’got it right’ (mostly sunny, no rain, high of 20c/68f) tomorrow morning I’ll be out in the fresh air, down by the roses on my hands and knees. Wish me luck…..getting down is easy, it’s the getting up that’s a problem 😊

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